It's always interesting to see characters taken into a new area. Unlike seeing them in the same vein day in and day out, it lets them "play" another dimension of a character that they have played - sometimes for many years.
Watching this week, it was interesting to see Alan "behind the curtain" (to use one of my favorite "Wizard of Oz" metaphors) . With no minions to do his bidding, he was left to fend for himself trying to rebuild his stolen empire. This "humbling" of Alan Spaulding has allowed me to appreciate Ron Raines all the more (and I'm already a huge fan) by seeing him show Alan's vulnerabilities when faced with adversity - and an empty wallet. At least he should be thankful he doesn't have the stretch limo anymore - can you imagine the poor gas mileage it gets ; )
Seeing Rafe helping his grandfather I am reminded to how I had to show my own Dad how to use a computer years ago. It was nice to see them share a few moments of bonding - both grieving the loss of Gus - the father and son each wasn't aware of for long. But I'm more than a little worried that Rafe, who certainly has anger issues, will turn into another Phillip (or A-M), a pawn that Alan uses to exact revenge. Natalia would not be pleased - but it would allow her to go into full "mother protecting her cub" mode that I really like. She can get feisty!! Except when letting Olivia take her house - she's got to work on that.
Speaking of the house, I just can't imagine that Natalia just walking away from the house Gus gave her. I know that Alan has no resources to help her now, and neither does Harley, but this seems unnecessarily cruel as a plot device. Any sympathy someone would have for Olivia is gone with such a cruel act. And while Olivia has done plenty to tick off many Springfield residents, this seems to be more vicious than ever.
But then, it seems that many Springfield residents are acting strange of late. Rick has tried to "buy" Peyton from Alan to keep him out of her life. Which makes Beth want to choose a powerless and broke Alan over her oldest friend? Lillian should have her committed. Alan has some redeeming qualities - but they are very hard to find. Poor Rick deserves a good woman who loves him. He and Frank need some woman to share their lives with. But it seems that GL seems to be nudging Frank closer to Natalia - I'm reserving judgement on that one for now. Too soon to tell how that would work out.
Speaking of relationships in limbo, I was glad to see Harley dump Cyrus this week - only to sleep with him in the next breath! I wanted to strangle her for that. She was honest about her feelings for Gus, but not strong enough to break away from a destructive relationship. Of course, the damage is already done between her family strife and her money woes. But she has to get away from him quickly. Let Cyrus work with Dinah to keep Alan in check. Harley needs to grieve Gus and get her life in order.
Josh's return to Springfield was awkward. His unease returning to the home he shares with Cassie was well done. But who wrote the dialogue about him being "strangers" with Harley - they used to be ENGAGED. Do your research, GL. Yes, it was over a decade ago, but it's got to be somewhere written down for you to research. This relationship will certainly be tested this week as we see Harley and Josh together in some non-romantic scenes - I won't "spoil" you here, though.
All of the changes to these characters and how they interact are good steps forward. But I still want to see some happiness in all of the cheating and back-stabbing in Springfield. It doesn't look like I'll get much of that this week either.
Let's hope that as the summer months heat up we can get some summer romance in Springfield. And a up-to-date podcast for me to listen to before I go on vacation next month (or am I the only person who listens to them?) .
Keep the Light Shining and Have a Great Week!